Arsenal’s latest addition Oleksandr Zinchenko has been on the Gunners’ radar for a long time, transfer director Edu Gaspar has revealed in a recent interview.
The 25-year-old Ukranian full-back, who can also play in central midfield, joined from Manchester City in a deal worth £30m plus a further £2m in performance-related add-ons, signing a long term contract in north London.
In doing so, he became Mikel Arteta’s fifth summer signing, joining Gabriel Jesus, Matt Turner, Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos in making a move to the capital this summer.
And, while it seemed as though the Gunners only turned to making a move for Zinchenko once it became clear that Manchester United had won the race for Lisandro Martinez, Edu has in fact revealed that they had been plotting the transfer for far longer.
Transfer long in the works
Speaking to Sky Sports, the Brazilian technical director explained that the deal had in fact been planned for six months, with the player singled out due to his ability on the pitch and his character off it.
“We are so excited to have Zinchenko with us here because he’s a player that we really targeted,” Edu told Sky Sports. “It’s a player that we really believe has the characteristics and the qualities that are going to increase our level in the squad for sure.
“[The Zinchenko transfer] was planned like six months ago, to feed that position in the best way possible in the way which Mikel really wants to play.
“Mikel of course knows him more than anyone because they worked together [at Manchester City] but all the information around the player is top. Not only about his qualities as a footballer but as a person as well, which for us is so important to have a player like him in the squad.”